A Leighton Buzzard woman has been ordered to pay £964 after pleading guilty to illegal use of a ‘blue badge’ that had been issued to her disabled husband.
Anne Oakes, of Doggett Street, who failed to attend Luton Magistrates’ Court on December 5 was sentenced to a fine of £440, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £44 and ordered to pay costs of £480 whilst also receiving a criminal record.
Oakes was caught out during a Central Bedfordshire Council operation tackling Blue Badge fraud on December 9, 2016, where checks were being made to assess whether blue badge disabled parking permits were being used correctly.
Officers spotted a car parked in a disabled bay for Blue Badge holders in the High Street, in Leighton Buzzard. When the officers called the badge holder to check his whereabouts he confirmed that he was at home and not using the blue badge permit. He stated his wife may have been using the permit.
When interviewed under caution, Oakes confirmed the she was driving the vehicle with the blue badge permit and knew she wasn’t supposed to, and apologised for doing so. The defendant also stated that her husband was not aware she had taken the blue badge permit and she did so without asking him.
The council’s Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr Richard Wenham, said: “Blue badges are issued to people in our communities that need them most. They allow people who need extra help to park closer to their home or destination and must only be used by another person if the badge holder is present or is being dropped off or collected.
“While some may see the overall cost of £964 as a relatively small price to pay for her offence, the real impact on Anne Oakes is that she now has a criminal conviction to her name.
“The council will be directing further effort to clamp down on this type of offence in the future.”
> If you suspect someone of illegally using a blue badge, report it the council by calling 0300 300 8035 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org